1.UMVIM is an approved United Methodist ministry.

2. The mission projects are vetted and screened.

3. Volunteer teams can continue their relationship with the project site they served at via The Advance and missionaries.

4. All are welcome to serve.

5. Training, forms, insurance, etc. available

6. It's simple. Contact umvimwj@hotmail.com to get started!

Faith in Action

Faith in Action

Friday, April 23, 2010



Individual Volunteer to Hope School – Bethlehem, Palestine: March through June
Yvonne Turner of Grass Valley - Sierra Pines UMC will be serving as a teacher at the Hope School in Bethlehem.

Multi-Church / Hurricane Recovery Team to Slidell, Louisiana: March 27 – April 3
Joe Hoffman leads teams of volunteers from four congregations. Jerry Adams, Warren Adams, Debbie Dillon-Adams, Sally Flores, Aeredin Harris, Cameron Hobbs, Haley Hobbs, Shannon James, Barbie Swain, Carl Swain and Kristen Swain of the Pioneer UMC and the Auburn Community Parish (made up of Dutch Flat UMC, Colfax UMC and Placer Hills Community UMCs).

Kit & Relationship Building Team to the UMCOR West Depot in SLC, Utah: April 5-9
Becky Perry of Boulder Creek UMC leads a multi-church team to the UMCOR West Depot. She is joined by Sunshine Johnson and Garrett Wallace of Boulder Creek UMC, Jane Cross of Pacific Grove UMC, Don Kawashima and Jackie Kawashima of San Jose - Wesley UMC , Rosemary Steenhausen of Almaden Hills UMC, Ina Tanner and Marv Tanner of Campbell UMC, Selma Chung, Patti Lawton and Jeffrey Lawton.

Hurricane Recovery Team to Slidell, Louisiana: April 17 - 24
Steve Elliott of Livermore – Asbury UMC leads teams of volunteers to continue hurricane recovery work. A list of team members was not available at the time of posting.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


UMCOR approves funding grant for UMVIM work in Haiti.

July 18-August 7, 2010 -- A UMVIM team made up of volunteers from throughout the California Nevada Conference will travel to Puebla, Mexico. There they will study Spanish for four hours daily at the Methodist University. Service projects will be completed on Saturdays, and participants will be housed in the dormatory rooms at the Puebla church. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity!

Contact Jackie Kawashima,
jkawashima@sbcglobal.net -- 408.268.8318 for more information.


The death toll continues to rise after a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck Qinghai Province in China on Wednesday morning, April 14. Estimates put the number of dead at more than 2,000, with 195 still missing, and 12,135 injured.

UMCOR partner The Amity Foundation dispatched a delegation to Qinghai Province within 24 hours of the disaster to carry out a needs assessment and to deliver instant noodles, water, blankets and tents to survivors.

It took the Amity team 17 hours to reach remote Gyegu Township, seat of Yushu County and epicenter of the quake. They traveled through mountains, freezing temperatures—about 1 degree Fahrenheit—and taxing altitude.

Amity Assistant General Secretary He Wen reported that about 1,000 families had taken refuge in a local horse racing stadium and that many of these survivors still lacked tents, leaving them exposed to the cold and wind. Food remains in short supply.

Please give to International Disaster Response, China Earthquake, UMCOR Advance #982450 to help the earthquake survivors.


In their semi-annual meeting last week, UMCOR’s board of directors approved $10.4 million for the organization’s Help Haiti Rebuild program and $565,000 to support United Methodist Volunteers in Mission’s coordination of US volunteers there.

UMCOR’s disaster recovery efforts in Haiti would not be possible without the generosity of United Methodists and the many people of goodwill who have helped UMCOR raise more than $19.8 million to date. Read more about how your gifts are making a difference for the people of Haiti.

Gifts to support UMCOR’s Haiti relief and recovery work can be made online by visiting www.umcorhaiti.org. One hundred percent of gifts made to this advance will help the people of Haiti.

Saturday, April 17, 2010



Early Response Team Training(ERT) - The Pacific Northwest Conference is working diligently to develop an active Early Response capability to compliment our Long Term Recovery activities following a natural disaster. If you are interested in joining this vital team, please consider attending the next ERT training.WhenMay 22, 2010 · 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Where: Olympia First UMC · 1224 Legion Way SE · Olympia, WA 98501(Get directions)

DEADLINE: Register by May 17, 2010ContactJim Truitt · (253) 630-1268 · jftruitt@comcast.net


As Easter has passed, so has the deadline for Operation Resurrection 2010. One of 2010’s goals is to replenish 23,000 health kits that have been shipped to Haiti. The Rev. Brian Diggs serves as Director of UMCOR West Office and Depot in Salt Lake City, Utah.

He has taken a quick break to update Channels readers on the status of the depot.

What is the current progress of UMCOR West Depot collection of Health Kits for Haiti?

UMCOR West and UMCOR Sager Brown have prepared over 100,000 health kits specifically for Haiti. Currently we are both in the process of restocking our shelves with Health Kits in anticipation of future shipments to Haiti as well as other places around the world.

Several unexpected natural disasters have occurred after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, including multiple earthquakes in Chile. Have these crises affected your goal in collecting health kits - or simply calling for aid - for Haiti?

Both UMCOR West and UMCOR Sager Brown have received countless health kits that we are processing. These donations will more than restock the health hits we have already sent out as well as supply us for future shipments to other areas of the globe.

How has the response to Haiti from our UMC (and other ecumenical/non-ecumenical organizations) been when collecting for Health kits?

The response has been incredible. Both UMCOR depots receive shipments daily. In fact, between the two sites we have received well over 400,000 kits. It is so wonderful to see United Methodists, other organizations, and countless individuals donate their time and resources for this invaluable ministry.

How close are you now to reaching the goal of replacing 23,000 health kits that were shipped to Haiti?

We are well beyond the 23,000. So far, we have received an estimated 40,000 kits here at UMCOR West since we sent out our Haiti shipment.

What insights have you gained since answering this call to Haiti Relief?

Quite simply I am amazed at the abundant generosity of the countless churches and individuals who have sent in supplies. Moreover, the number of people who volunteered at UMCOR West just after the Haiti earthquake was moving. We had well over 300 people who came to work during the time of the crisis. They put in well over a thousand hours and continue to want to come back to do more. It is a real testament to the faith of United Methodists and people of other faith traditions.

Friday, April 16, 2010



Below is a press release from the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church announcing the plan for sending UMVIM teams into Haiti.

Teams who are interested in traveling to Haiti can begin to contact Susan Meister, UMVIM Haiti Coordinator, to start the process of calendaring. All teams who intend to travel to Haiti with United Methodist Volunteers in Mission must register with Susan. Susan's email address is haitivolunteers@yahoo.com.

Please be patient as you wait for a response; as we are now opening this process, we anticipate a large volume of interested missioners.

A few things to remember as you begin the process of setting up your team:

1. All UMVIM teams must sign their team up through the US Haiti Calendaring Coordinator. The US calendaring coordinator will determine the location of where teams will work. Your location will be different due to circumstances.

2. All teams will work on projects which are the priority of the Methodist Church of Haiti.

3. Your team leader must have current team leader training.

4. Your leader must have been to Haiti. Potential team leaders who have never been to Haiti but are interested in leading a team should stay tuned for future opportunities for Haiti experience. We anticipate having teams in the near future which will be comprised of potential team leaders who are interested in traveling to Haiti in order to fulfill this requirement.

5. Teams are to consist of no more than 12 members

6. Teams must register UMVIM Conferenence Coordinator and get insurance either from GBGM or UMVIM Southeast Jurisdiction.

7. Teams will be required to have all immunizations up to date

8. It is highly suggested each team have at least one medical person as a part of their team. Some locations will be at least an hour away from hospital care. With more medical persons on a team they can assist in medical assessments in the communities where the teams will be working.

9. Estimated cost of mission is about $50.00 per day plus airfare or about $1500.00 per person. This will include your transportation to Haiti , food, housing and in country transportation

10. Each team will be expected to raise an estimated $ 3,000 in project money. This amount will be matched by UMCOR up to $3000.

11. At this point and time there are only two flights a day into Port au Prince. All teams are required to enter and leave through this city.


April 14, 2010--Earthquake-related United Methodist mission volunteer service in Haiti will focus on housing, health, education, and pastoral services under a six-month pilot project expected to get underway soon.

The pilot, which could be extended for a longer period, will involve both Haitians and volunteers from outside the country. It is the outcome of consultations among the representatives of the Methodist Church in Haiti, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM), and the Volunteers Office of the General Board of Global Ministries.

The program is open to qualified volunteers from the United States and from Methodist churches in the Caribbean, Latin America, and other parts of the world.

A grant of $565,000 from UMCOR will support at least six months of the work. It was approved on April 14 by directors of UMCOR and affirmed by the General Board of Global Ministries, of which UMCOR is a part. Discussion of the project in committee indicated that teams can possibly be in the field by early May.

Volunteer Registration
Since the earthquake devastated Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas on January 12, more than 3,000 persons have registered their interest in going to Haiti as mission volunteers on a website maintained by Global Ministries. Interested missioners can continue to register at

Family housing will be one of the initial priorities, said Melissa Crutchfield, international disaster coordinator for UMCOR. While earthquake-resistant housing will be the long-term goal, she indicated, an immediate need is for transitional housing. Facilities for schools and health services are also priorities. Also included is training for Haitian pastors to become better equipped to deal with earthquake-related stress.

Infrastructure challenges, such as transportation for people and materials, and housing for visitors has slowed the use of mission volunteers in post-earthquake Haiti, according to UMCOR staff.

In the pilot stage, volunteer teams will work on projects selected as priorities by the Methodist Church in Haiti. Each team will be made up of 8 to 12 members with skills appropriate to particular projects. US teams will come through United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM), a grassroots movement that operates on annual conference and jurisdictional levels.

Each team of volunteers will provide from $3,000 to $5,000 per qualifying project, amounts that will be matched by funds from the UMCOR grant. Team contributions will go through The Advance, the designated mission-giving channel of the church.
All priority sites are expected to be identified by mid-June.

A Central Calendar

Teams will be scheduled (calendared) through a central US-based office, which will assure that necessary paper work covering insurance, finances, and travel is appropriately handled. An office in Haiti will provide links to the church there and coordinate logistics and materials on the ground for teams. Staff persons have been selected for those posts. A third position will focus on hospitality and finance.
Susan J. Meister of Belleville, Illinois, has been chosen as the calendaring consultant.

She is a member of the Signal Hill United Methodist Church in the Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference, and has experience in mission, relief, and church communications. She is the mother of five surviving children. Her husband, the Rev. Peter J. Wehrly is pastor of Signal Hill Church.

The Rev. Mike Willis of Vestal, New York, who is fluent in conversational Creole, the language of Haiti, will be based in Port-au-Prince. He and his wife, the Rev. Mary Ricketts, are pastors of the Vestal United Methodist Church. He has been involved in Haiti mission work since 1995 and has visited there some 20 times, leading work teams in construction, microcredit, and clean water projects.

Haitian Involvement

Haitians will be involved in each undertaking. The proposal states that, "substantial numbers of Haitians can be hired to work with team at a suggested 2 to 1 ratio of Haitians to Americans."

Many details of the pilot project came into focus in a recent visit of three jurisdictional UMVIM coordinators to Haiti, where they met with the Rev. Gesner Paul, superintendent of the Methodist Church in Haiti, which is a district of the Methodist Church of the Caribbean and Americas. A possible three-year program, including the six-month pilot, was worked out with staff of the Mission Volunteers Office of Global Ministries, in collaboration with UMCOR.

The proposal to UMCOR was submitted by Jerald McKie, Global Ministries' interim associate general secretary for mission relationships, who supervises the volunteer office, and the five jurisdictional UMVIM coordinators: Lorna Jost, North Central; Greg Forrester, Northeastern; Debbie Vest, South Central; Paulette West, Southeastern; and Heather Wilson, Western. The Rev. Cynthia Harvey, the newly elected head of UMCOR, effective May 1, and other staff of UMCOR and Global Ministries were also involved in the planning.

The program will be evaluated as it progresses; as benchmarks are reached and viability shown, the sponsors are prepared to seek volunteers and matching funds for another 30 months.


The first critical step for volunteers is to register online (see above). In the US, these names will go to the jurisdictional and annual conference coordinators, who will assist in assembling teams and coordinating with the calendar office. Teams from Latin America and the Caribbean will be organized with the assistance of Global Ministries, the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and Americas (MCCA), and the Council of Evangelical United Methodist Churches in Latin America (CIEMAL).
The United Methodist Church has been sending volunteer-in-mission teams to Haiti for more than 30 years, and has strong links to congregations and institutions there. Prior to the January earthquake, the UMVIM network was placing approximately 100 teams per year in Haiti.


The devastating flood in North Georgia that occurred following historic rain in September 2009 resulted in extreme damage to 100s of homes in 17 counties. The North Georgia Conference Disaster Response office has been coordinating and overseeing the rebuilding of homes damaged by the September 21 floods in Cobb and Douglas Counties since December.

Thirty-five rebuilding teams comprised of over 357 individuals from 9 states representing United Methodist Churches and 12 other churches/organizations have completed 25 houses allowing the homeowners to move back in their homes. However, the need to help other families still displaced from their homes continues. There are at least another 80-100 homes in Cobb and Douglas County and additional homes in DeKalb and Gwinnett Counties that need major repairs.

There are currently rebuilding teams scheduled for most weeks in May and June, but very few scheduled beyond that. Three teams per week with up to 10 members per team are needed each week at least through October. In order for the remaining homes to get rebuilt and the homeowners moved back in, many more rebuilding teams are needed.

This is an appeal for Churches or other organizations to put together teams that can come and help put people back in their homes. Please call the North Georgia Disaster Response office in Austell at 770-739-9537 if you can help.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010



Rev. Felipe Ruiz, District Superintendent in the area most affected by the recent series of earthquakes and aftershocks in the Mexicali area has sent me his description of the damage to the area and the following summary of the needs that he found on a trip this past Sunday to the church nearest the epicenter:

“I invite you to pray and join our efforts to help our brothers (and sisters) in faith, who in addition to our prayers need food, bottled water, toilet paper, feminine napkins, items of personal care, candy to bring a little joy to the children, more blankets, tents and later on, rebuilding of some homes. But above all, they need our most fervent demonstrations of love.”

When you hear news reports of aftershocks shaking Southern California, remember that the big quake and those that follow are centered in Mexico. It is almost like the news reports are suggesting that the shocks that we are feeling don’t take place south of the border. In fact, that is where the main damage has been done. In fact, even the smallest aftershocks appear as terrifying events to those who went through the “big one” on Easter Sunday, sending them running into the street in fear. Many are afraid to go back into their homes or places of business. In Mexico, this has been, and continues to be, a terrible and traumatic event.

The UM Joint Commission is the Cal-Pac Advance Special that handles this sort of assistance to the Methodist Church of Mexico. Any of the things above are needed now, and will be for the near future. On behalf of the Joint Commission/Hands Across the Border, I would like to ask that your church pray this coming Sunday for our brothers and sisters in Mexico and I would also ask that you begin to collect some of the requested items. Please call me and let me know what you are doing. I will arrange to have the items picked up and taken to Mexico.

Donations should be sent to:

Joint Commission
c/o Rev. James F. Oliver
13340 Del Monte, 4D
Seal Beach, CA 90740-4556

Please be sure to note on your check that it is for “Earthquake Relief”

Please remember, too, that we are always happy to have the opportunity to address your church or church group and share information about the work of the United Methodist Church south of the border.
Just give me a call.

Thank you in advance for your prayers and support.


Murray Hawkins, President
U.M. Joint Commission for Church Extension/Hands Across the Border


Boats tossed onto dry land in Chile as a result of the earthquake. Courtesy, UMCOR.org.

The Friends of Barnabas Foundation is looking to fill several medical professional openings on its July 17 - 25, 2010 medical team to the mountains of central Honduras. Medical doctors, physician's assistants and nurse practitioners are all eligible for the few remaining slots. The team leaves and returns to Norfolk, VA. The team will visit five remote villages providing medical care to the poorest of the poor of Honduras. The team stays each night in the Foundation's facilities at Pena Blanca and travels using the Foundation's vehicles each day. Air travel, in country transportation, lodging and food are all included in the $1900 cost per team member. Contact Dr. Carlos Liceaga for more information (carlosliceaga@cox.net / 757.593.8266). See the scope of the Foundation's work over the last 10 years on its web site at www.fobf.org


Following a Holy Week tour of earthquake disaster sites in Chile, executives of UMCOR and GBGM’s Mission Relationships are working on a “model” recovery plan with the Methodist Church of Chile (IMECH).

The plan was discussed Holy Saturday in Santiago after the executives, Rev. Tom Hazelwood for UMCOR and Dakin Cook for Mission Relationships, traveled with IMECH Bishop Mario Martínez Tapia and Emergency Relief Coordinator Juan Salazar to 14 cities and towns in four days. They were accompanied by United Methodist missionary John Elmore, a builder, who has lived in Chile for 13 years.
Under the plan, Annual Conferences and churches in the US would develop covenant relationships with individual congregations in Chile, and recovery efforts would be jointly coordinated by UMCOR, Mission Relationships, United Methodist Volunteers in Mission, and IMECH.

While the plan needs donations to support recovery efforts, it gives US congregations the opportunity to see themselves “not as donors only but as engaged in ministry,” said Hazelwood.

The earthquake in Chile registered a powerful 8.8 and was followed by a series of tsunamis. More than 500 were killed or disappeared and 1.5 million were displaced from their homes in Santiago and locations south of the capital.
Bishop Martínez called the effects of the earthquake “deceptive,” as many buildings that remained standing in its wake suffered irreparable structural damage, including numerous Methodist churches. Read the full story

You can support recovery efforts in Chile with your donation to UMCOR’s Chile Emergency, UMCOR Advance #3021178


A high-ranking General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) delegation spent the first days of Holy Week in Haiti with The Reverend Gesner Paul, head of the Methodist Church of Haiti (EMH), to express the US church’s solidarity and strengthen the relationship between GBGM and EMH for the long term.

Bishop Bruce Ough, president of GBGM, and Rev. Jorge Domingues, deputy general secretary for Mission and Evangelism, were accompanied by Melissa Hinnen, director of communications of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).
The delegation toured EMH offices in Petionville and visited Grace Children’s Hospital, where the young patients are currently being cared for in tents because of damages to the hospital’s buildings during the January 12 earthquake.

“We thank you for all you have done for us in Haiti. We thank you for UMCOR’s return to Haiti for the medium and long term,” said Rev. Paul. “As we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord, we remember the journey has just begun.”
UMCOR is developing a bridge between EMH-identified needs and the relief and development work of UMCOR’s field office in Haiti, Bishop Ough said. GBGM’s Mission and Evangelism office will partner with EMH to build the church’s capacity “to be a beacon for Haiti,” he added. An April 20 roundtable in the Dominican Republic will further flesh out needs and responses.

Read the full story here.
Gifts to support UMCOR’s Haiti relief and recovery work can be made to Haiti Emergency, UMCOR Advance #418325.One hundred percent of gifts made to this advance will help the people of Haiti